4-year-old drowns in Golden Gate home pool

Published: September 11, 2015 6:32 PM EDT
Updated: September 11, 2015 6:33 PM EDT

GOLDEN GATE, Fla. – A family is devastated after they found their 4-year-old daughter unconscious in the pool. Despite having a security fence around the pool, the little girl managed to get over it by climbing on a table.

“It’s a terrible, terrible accident,” said Rick Spicer who lives next door to the family.

Spicer said the family are good people and that Jeanie Paul was a happy and active little girl. He was shocked to hear what happened because Paul’s father had a fence around the pool.

“That fence that he’s put up, that’s so much more than a child guard fence. It’s so tall and so big and so strong looking. I don’t know how the heck that little girl managed to do that.”

The Collier County Sheriff’s Office said family was inside sleeping at the time. According to the incident report, the pool was only 80 percent full and the pool pump wasn’t working.

“We suggest you anchor the furniture with some sort of rope or chain to a wall, so they can’t drag it over to the baby fence,” said Les Williams, a state licensed paramedic and owner of Aloha Pools & Spas.

In addition to baby fences, Williams says you need layers of protection. He says that starts inside the home with alarms on all your doors and windows that lead to the pool. If you don’t have an alarm system, Williams says you can buy portable ones at stores like Target, Loews, or Home Depot. They cost anywhere from $25 – $50.

Williams believes it’s a good idea for parents to check out some of the swim programs offered throughout Collier County. They teach kids how to swim and respect the water. Also, his pool company and others offer pool safety courses that can show you how to make your pool childproof.

Paul’s father tells WINK News she was such a happy child who just started going to school two weeks ago. She was also a daddy’s girl. The family is working on making funeral arrangements for the 4-year-old.